Almost 90 Percent of People Believe the Government Is Broken

We have yet another poll showing virtually unanimous dissatisfaction with our political system. A CNN poll shows an impressive 86 percent who say that the government is broken. What is fascinating is how the two parties are now moving to join the chorus — to control the debate and prevent serious reforms.

The problem remains directing this anger in a productive direction toward real political reform. Instead, the two parties are moving to convert the mess that they created into a campaign for more power. Sarah Palin is telling tea party members that they must pick between the two parties, here. People like Joe Biden are objecting to the political failure (here despite their role in creating and maintaining the system. Both parties are trying to show that the solution is to give them more power over the other party.

It is a testament to the duopoly that the two parties can use their own failure to their advantage. The theory is that, if you object to the current status, you (and your party) cannot be part of the problem. Evan Bayh even blames it on “testosterone poisoning” while appearing with other politicians who have helped maintain the system, here. You will notice that none of these Republicans or Democrats are speaking of changing the structure of the political system — only the characters and “environment.”

Can you think of one issue that almost 90 percent of Americans agree on in terms of reform? Yet, it is likely that no real change will occur due to the monopoly of power by the two parties.

For the CNN poll result, click here.

56 thoughts on “Almost 90 Percent of People Believe the Government Is Broken”

  1. Ditto, Buddha.


    Jesselyn Radack wrote:

    “This gives me the dubious distinction of being the only Justice Department attorney that OPR referred for bar disciplinary action stemming from advice I gave in a torture case–and my advice was to permit an American terrorism suspect to have counsel.” (refer to the above link)

  2. Speaking of dysfunctional criminasl, according to HuffPo as of 10 minutes ago, Arch-traitor and Neocon War Criminal Cheney has been hospitalized for heart pains. It was not reported where he obtained the heart. On a personal note, as much as I loathe this evil man, I do hope he survives just long enough to go on trial at the ICC.

  3. Dear Fellow UofC Grad….”Maybe if the commentators were limited to people with IQ’s in the triple digits or-gasp-lawyers. Okay, blast away.”…
    I’ve met a few lawyers lately….you probably shouldn’t be throwing those particular stones….;)

  4. AY,

    Yeah, was absent for a while. Life and all. Law school treats me as well as usual, which is to say like crap. 🙂

    I’m taking all electives now, so I guess it’s a bit better. Have a great class being taught by a top DoJ litigator which really makes you appreciate the benefit of going to law school in DC.

    I think one of the reasons for the “failure” is that only one side seems to be willing to play hardball. No prizes for guessing which. It is my understanding, for example, that the 60 vote cloture rule can be changed by a simple majority at the start of a new Senate session. Why hasn’t that happened? Sure, Republicans will benefit from it in the future, but so what? If people elect Republicans they would rightly expect them to pass things by virtue of a majority.

    Congress has become a money making machine for its members. They go in, serve X time, come out and go to work for the private sector and trade on their administrative contacts. Being elected president, unlike the old days, is now almost a guaranteed way to become a multi-millionaire after leaving office.

    Interestingly, I find myself leaning more in a federalist direction since I’ve started law school, i.e. towards so-called “states rights,” although that term is now code for oppressing some group of people without interference by those federal nogoodniks. I do like J. Brandeis’ (I think) concept of states a “laboratories” for democracy.

  5. I wonder what the polls would reflect if the current President and Justice system actually enforced the laws that exist for the ‘people’…but are apparently absent when applied to the ‘lawmakers’ and their moneyed Corporate buddies. I for one do not understand how we can call a system broken when we have simply ignored the tenets that make it a ‘system’ to begin with. How about a new poll….”Will this system work if we actually apply it?” I’d love to see THOSE rsults.

  6. Puzzling,

    The Supreme court is a nice red herring, but not really relevant to this discussion. My point wasn’t that direct elections better serve Democracy, just that your solution struck me as a little nonsensical. It still does, especially since you went from justifying it as “decentralizing power” to being a panacea to all the corruption in the Federal government. To be fair, you might see decentralizing power as a panacea, you just failed to connect those dots for the rest of us.

    I just don’t get the underlying assumption that the State Governments are some how pure and free from the corrupting influence of whatever the corruption d’jour is. In addition to Byron’s point, States are just as easy to buy as Senators, the tender is just a little different (you know, it’d be a shame for my company to have to take all it’s jobs to Oregon where they appoint Senators who have views more in line with our bottom line).

  7. jonathanturley,

    Thanks for protecting me from that FucG blogger. My IQ would have pushed me under the top too. 😉

  8. Puzzling:

    good thoughts as usual.

    One question though, how does appointment preclude the possibility of influence? There is life after the Senate and the Senators son might need a bit of money to be able to go to Northwestern or Yale.

    It would take some of the graft and corruption of K St. off the table but not all of it. Why not just simply make direct Lobbying illegal? They can place all of the adds they want and have the Senator or Congress to their association dinners but no honorarium for re-election and no junkets to the Cayman Islands.

  9. Gyges-

    You wrote: I question the wisdom limiting centralized power by centralizing power. You’re taking a power (the ability to choose Senators) away from a large group (voters) and putting it in the hands of a small group (the state legislator). Seems to me that’s the very definition of centralizing power.

    So would democracy be served if Supreme Court members were elected like we do the President?

    We already have a body of democratically elected representatives that has a say in all legislation and spending: the House of Representatives.

    The 17th Amendment shifted the Senate to direct elections and silenced the voice of the States. It shifted the qualities necessary for those who could attain office. How many unfunded state mandates from the federal government would pass a Senate comprised of individuals sent by state legislatures? How much good would lobbying by big pharma do if Senators didn’t require their cash to stay in power? How much more state policy innovation and local autonomy would we see with this shift away from centralized government?

    Repeal of the 17th amendment would be a fundamental and positive reform of government.

  10. That none of the regulars on this blog have double digit IQ’s (trolls excepted) is evidenced by the fact that none of us bear the dubious titles of “United States Senator” and/or “Lobbyist”. While having a triple digit IQ is not requisite for posting here, it is a bar from either of the aforementioned professions which seem to have a maximum threshold of about 80 on the Stanford-Binet.

  11. Gyges–

    Reagrding: UofC–Now I’m wondering…

    University of
    – California?
    – Colorado?
    – Connecticut?
    – Coincidence?

  12. Elaine,

    A little known fact is that the author of “How To Make Friends and Influence People” was a UofC graduate. Coincidence?

  13. Ay–

    “expressionless excitement”

    Are you trying to have a little fun with words? You wouldn’t want one of the folks commenting here to accuse you of being oxyMORONic, would you?

  14. Correction: If I had your address, I’d send you a sympathy card. I had forgotten the comma. Please forgive. I wouldn’t want to be accused of having a two-digit IQ!

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